Classic Acai Bowl & Best Toppings

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Smoothie bowls first became popular a couple years ago as a way to make a thicker smoothie you could eat with a bowl and spoon. They soon became popular for breakfast, even becoming a major trend on Instagram and other social media accounts because of their enticing appearance. The original smoothie bowl began as a way to use acai packs and fruit. Here are some things to know about the classic acai bowl.

About Acai Packs

Smoothie bowls were originally called acai bowls, since they relief on acai packs. Acai berries come from South America and parts of Central America, where the acai palm trees grow. These berries are usually only found fresh in these areas, so when you want to use them in the U.S., they are typically in the form of acai puree. These come most often in packs of puree that you can use for various recipes. A popular way to use the packs is to thicken up and sweeten a smoothie, which is thick enough to turn it into a smoothie bowl you can eat with a spoon. The acai berries have lots of nutrients as well, including omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, amino acids, and lots of vitamins and minerals.

The Original Basic Acai Bowl Recipe

The traditional acai bowls started with an acai pack, usually one that was unsweetened so that you can control exactly how sweet you want your smoothie bowl to be. The classic bowls often included a frozen banana, fruit like strawberries and blueberries, some chia seeds to put on top, shredded coconut on top, and occasionally a little agave in order to sweeten up the smoothie bowl.

New Variations on the Classic

Over time, the smoothie bowls have changed and move from just being acai bowls, to being another way to make delicious and nutritious smoothies. Some of the smoothie bases still use acai packs, but many of them instead use other fruits, vegetables, yogurt and milk, nuts, seeds, and lots of other ingredients. There are many different variations of smoothie bowls, from using tropical fruit and yogurt, to going with a dessert bowl that has chocolate and peanut butter. Some do more of a traditional smoothie with bananas and strawberries, while others are using lots of goji berries and chia seeds along with the acai berries.

As you can see, you have many variety whether you start with the classic acai bowl recipe or not.

Add some Toppings To Your Smoothie Bowls

When you are done blending up your smoothie, making sure it is thick enough, and pouring it into a bowl, the next step is to add your toppings. Some toppings are there for appearance, such as choosing a variety of colors for the look you are going for, but they are all good for you. Here are some of the best toppings to use on your smoothie bowls.

Cacao Powder and Nibs

This is a really fun topping, and one that goes great with fruit bowls and the more dessert-inspired ones. If you ever have a smoothie bowl with banana and peanut butter in it, or even more of a dessert bowl, definitely consider using cacao. Cacao powder is often used inside the bowl to make it creamier and add a chocolate flavor, but you can also sprinkle some on top. Cacao nibs are bits of raw, dark chocolate that doesn’t have added sugar or processed ingredients. This is great for topping the bowl for some natural sweetness, but not too much.

Coconut Shavings

One of the most popular toppings for a smoothie bowl is coconut shavings. These really taste great with any smoothie bowl, from green smoothie bowls with lots of veggies, to any of the acai and fruit smoothie bowls. The coconut shavings are lightly flavored like coconut, so they are even better with more tropical fruit smoothies. Plus, they have a lot of amazing health benefits.

Nuts and Seeds

Another topping you can use on top of your smoothie bowl is any combination of nuts and seeds you like. Some common ones include slivered almonds and chia seeds, as well as pumpkin seeds. The chia seeds are small, round, and black, often placed in a long, thin line along the top of the bowl. These have omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, and lots more nutrients.


Not only are berries perfect for blending up your smoothie bowl, but they are beautiful when placed on top of the bowl as well. You can go with classic options like blueberries and raspberries, slice up some fresh strawberries, or go with something more unique like goji berries. These are a reddish purple color and are great for your skin, eye health, blood sugar, and providing more antioxidants your body needs.

Aside from these toppings, you can also sprinkle some homemade muesli or granola, or pretty much any type of fruit that is sliced or diced.

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